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LFF Unveils 2016 Line-Up

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LFF2016logoAs it celebrates its 60th year, The BFI London Film Festival shows no signs of applying for its bus pass.  If anything, it’s upped the pace with a landmark year line-up full of sparkle, originality and variety by the tonne.

After all the four and five star reviews showered on it in Venice, the big question was whether Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’ would put in an appearance.  The still above is a  bit of a giveaway.  It’s also one of the LFF’s Headline Galas this year, one of a total of 22, ten of which are linked to the festival’s well-established strands, such as Journey, Dare and Laugh.

The selection of Amma Asante’s ‘A United Kingdom’ to open proceedings and Ben Wheatley’s ‘Free Fire’ to close them had already been well-publicised, although the trailer for Wheatley’s high-octane action flick starring Brie Larson got its first outing at today’s launch and was well received.  Denis Villeneuve’s much-anticipated  ‘Arrival’ is new sponsor Royal Bank of Canada’s Gala film, while other Headline Galas include Nate Parker’s ‘Birth Of A Nation’, ‘Manchester By The Sea’ with Casey Affleck as the reluctant guardian of a teenage boy and Oliver Stone’s long-awaited ‘Snowden’ with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the title role.  Strand Galas include ‘Bleed For This’, with Miles Teller as real-life boxer Vinny ‘Paz’ Paziena, and Adam Driver as a bus driver-come-poet in Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Paterson’.

Those are just the headlines, though.  Beneath them is a layer of movie riches that will satisfy any film fan.  With a total of 350 features and shorts on show this year, there isn’t the space to mention all of them, so here’s some stand-outs.  Aussie director/writer Ivan Sen returns to the LFF with ‘Goldstone’, after his first “outback noir” feature, ‘Mystery Road’ in 2013.  David Lynch fans have their favourite director all to themselves in the documentary ‘David Lynch:The Art Life’.  The resurgent Isabelle Huppert appears in no less than three separate films, including ‘Elle’ directed by Paul Verhoeven, while Kristen Stewart continues to delight fans and confound detractors in ‘Personal Shopper’.

Family films, including ‘Trolls’, treasures such as Woody Allen’s ‘Manhattan’ and gritty Brit flick ‘Hell Drivers’ with a pre-Bond Sean Connery, screen talks from the likes of Ben Wheatley and Werner Herzog and more cinemas on the roster, including the Prince Charles Cinema just off Leicester Square and a whole new temporary cinema on The Embankment ……. the list goes on.  And it’s some list.

The BFI London Film Festival 2016 runs from Wednesday, 5 October to Sunday, 16 October inclusive.  Public booking opens on Thursday, 15 September and the full line-up is available on the BFI website. 

Here’s to a vintage LFF!

 

Freda's been a film fan all her life - the best qualification for the job! As well as being a Movie Marker regular, she has her own blog, Talking Pictures - https://fredacooper.wordpress.com/ - and a podcast of the same name - https://soundcloud.com/freda-14/talkingpictures6october2016. She can even be heard burbling on about films every Friday morning on BBC Surrey and Sussex!

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Guillermo del Toro to Direct Stop Motion Pinocchio for Netflix

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Pinocchio Movie Marker

Fresh off his Oscar win for “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro is set to make his animated feature film directing debut. Del Toro has received the green light from Netflix to film “Pinocchio,” a stop motion musical version of the classic children’s tale about a puppet who wants to be a real live boy. He will write and produce the film in addition to directing it.

According to Variety, The film will be set in Italy during the 1930’s, a particularly fraught historical moment and a time when fascism was on the rise and Benito Mussolini was consolidating control of the country. Production on “Pinocchio” will begin this fall. Del Toro previously set “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” against a totalitarian backdrop, although he placed those stories in Franco’s Spain.

“No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio,” said del Toro in a statement. “In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember.”

Del Toro previously collaborated with Netflix on its Emmy award-winning television series “Trollhunters,” the first installment of the DreamWorks’ Tales of Arcadia trilogy. The next chapter, “3Below,” is set to debut on in December and it will be followed by “Wizards” in 2019. He created the upcoming Netflix horror anthology series, “Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight.” Del Toro’s other credits include “Crimson Peak” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

The project comes as Netflix is investing heavily in children’s entertainment — a move that will be increasingly important as Disney prepares to launch its own streaming service. To that end, the company has backed the likes of “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” along with upcoming series such as “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” and “Gabby’s Dollhouse.”

Del Toro will collaborate on “Pinocchio” with the Jim Henson Company, the company behind “The Dark Crystal” and ShadowMachine, the creator of “Bojack Horseman.” Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment will produce the film. Blanca Lista will co-produce it.

Patrick McHale (“Over The Garden Wall”) will co-write the script, and Mark Gustafson (“Fantastic Mr. Fox”) will co-direct the movie. Guy Davis will serve as co-production designer and the film’s puppets will be built by Mackinnon and Saunders, the team behind “Corpse Bride.”

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Aquaman Director Teases Two Of The Film’s Creatures, And Gosh They Look Silly

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So, Aquaman is a film that’s coming out. It feels like, as a culture, the general cinema-going public still hasn’t quite acclimated to the idea that an Aquaman film is just two months away. Like, y’know, a film about Aquaman. Aquaman.

One person looking to change that general perception is director James Wan, who shared new glimpses at some of the film’s mounted ocean creatures and… oh good lord, just look at them.


Click through to get an even-higher resolution look at what’s to come, but as you can see there’s a saddle-mounted hammerhead shark, and a tylosaurus (a sort-of prehistoric crocodile). Yeah.

Aquaman is due out on the 14th of December, rated 12A, and stars Jason Momoa as the titular rightful ruler of Atlantis. As the film’s PR campaign ramps up, WB released a five-minute extended trailer just a few weeks ago, which you can check out here.

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Halloween Scores Series-Best Opening, As Venom Crosses $450m Worldwide

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Jamie Lee Curtis’ rebootquel Halloween scored a domestic opening of $77.5 million this weekend, after an impressive $27.2M Saturday. Not only does that easily make it the best US opening for John Carpenter’s four-decade old franchise, but it also solidifies it as the second-best opening ever for the month of October behind Sony’s Venom, which netted $80.2M just a few weeks ago.

Speaking of Venom, the critically-derided, audience-adored antihero flick starring Tom Hardy took another $18 million in the US this week, and a further $32 million internationally, taking the film’s global total to a staggering $460.2 million – for perspective, that’s bottom-end MCU money, beating out titles like Thor ($449.3m), Captain America: The First Avenger ($370.6m) and The Incredible Hulk ($263.4m), and gaining on films like Ant-Man ($519.3m) and the original Iron Man ($585.2m). Venom is still yet to open in China and Japan.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ smash-hit musical drama A Star Is Born is still raking in the dough. Star/director Bradley Cooper’s feature, which has garnered a big push in ticket sales from the successful stunt-casting of Lady Gaga as the secondary lead, brought its tally up to $201 million internationally this week, and looks set to continue hanging on at the box office despite fierce October competition.

All three films are in UK cinemas now, with Venom and A Star Is Born both rated 15, and Halloween rather expectedly rated 18.

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